Turtle Hospital Florida Keys
There are 5 different types of sea turtles that nest in the Florida Keys.
From the day they are born, The males never come to shore throughout their lives.
Only the female turtles visit land, for the short few hours to lay their eggs in nests. Although all the species are to some extent endangered, the bright news is that Florida has several breeding programmes whereby hatchlings are released. The Park staff also recover and incubate eggs from nests in danger to ensure the best possible outcome. Key Largo is indeed a place where we see quite an abundance of Turtles when out on the water as there are a couple of regular release points within John Pennekamp State Park.
We regularly see Turtles either over the shallow patch reefs where they feed on sponges. And then inshore over the grass flats where they make a good living feeding on the Sea Grasses that flourish along the inshore areas.
Long ago, we even experienced a strange story of being in Florida Bay, just messing about on the boat at anchor, and thinking we were being spied on. We convinced ourselves that there was a mysterious diver watching us. We were miles from land and just a little paranoid ! I think the giant Loggerhead Turtle was curious or annoyed that we had invaded her personal space as she circled the boat. Every few minutes a head would break surface in a different place. She would make a huge syphon blowing sound as she released air and drew a fresh breath before quickly disappearing in a big vortex leaving us to look where she had just been.
It’s very likely that if you go out on a boat or kayak trip you’ll see this sort of sudden water movement and maybe a glimpse. For a more certain interactive experience, you will be able to visit our friends at the Turtle Hospital Florida Keys whilst at the same time the small entrance fee is a valuable contribution to the ongoing good work that this facility undertakes.
For a fascinating educational tour situated at Hidden Harbour Marine Environment Project MM 48.5 in Marathon
Contact reception on local Tel ; 305 743 6509
Booking essential, guided daily tours.
Tours take you through the processes of how the turtles come to need aid with interesting films and talks, a tour of the hospital operating centre and finally through the rehabilitation pens when you get to meet the Turtles under their care.